Water protectors highlight Willow Creek frac-out, and the out-of-whack ness of state Line 3 regulators and law enforcement (from Healing Minnesota Stories; working towards understanding and healing between Native Americans & non-Native Peoples)
“Enbridge was recently approved to drain 5 billion gallons of local freshwater for construction. That’s a ten-fold increase from what the company was initially approved to use. As the state experiences an ongoing drought, many believe that dewatering poses a significant threat to the already low lakes and rivers around the state.
Across the state, police are escalating their response to peaceful direct action on the pipeline route.
The Line 3 Replacement Project proposes to cross 21 water bodies using horizontal directional drilling (HDD). This technique uses highly pressurized mud and chemicals to assist in drilling a hole underneath the waterbody to be crossed, and carries the risk of discharging drilling mud into the ecosystem. This is known as a ‘frac-out.’ Drilling mud may contain a wide variety of toxic chemicals, and the mud itself is composed of fine particles which can smother aquatic life.” (Reposted from @anarcho_anon by Lakota Law)
I read about this incident on social media on July 9th of 2021 ~
following the personal accounts from those who are in witness to this event, Water Protectors and Accomplices at the front lines, keeping close watch for the vitality and health of a River exploited under foreign dictations and extraction.
and this is not an isolated experience, nor is it necessarily unique, and certainly not new;
pipelines break frequently (Center for Biological Diversity)
and it is strongly relevant to the narrative regarding what informs the various impacts of man-induced climate change;
what is negligence and incompetent disregard for hum’n safety and environmental consideration has wrought;
and particularly when so much of the mindset that has conjured these distracted practices are a product of complete disassociation & false narrative of white man’s dominion over every being through history.
If not for these attentive stewards –
if not for collective efforts to amplify the voices and experiences of those who are subjected to / the most vulnerable to these devastations ~
Speaking up, speaking out, unveiling truths from the ground ~
Resources would already be exhausted.
Water + Land + Air are our lifelines.
Minnesota Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan, a tribal citizen of the White Earth Nation of Ojibwe, is facing pressure from the White Earth Tribal Council to stop Enbridge’s tar sands Line 3 oil pipeline. (Native News Online)
Additional Resources: Climate Resilience Project
Amplifying and Supporting Indigenous Leadership & Voice & Story is critical for our movements through climate change. I highly recommend the For the Wild podcast for an extraordinary, potent gathering of intersectional storytelling around this subject & beyond & within and the content is helpful for nurturing healthy comprehensions of adaptation. If you experience any existential anxiety with earths’ transitions, my suggestion is to expand your learning.
It takes strength to gather the facts and act accordingly. There is still room to trust your gut and hone the skills of listening and feeling and dreaming forward. The best way to balance any sensational fear is to recognize where you are and what it is you can do within that realm to make a difference. All the tools you could possibly need are available.
In January 2020 I attended the Just Transition summit on Denendeh & Tanana land (Fairbanks, Alaska). From their website; Kohtr’elneyh means “We Remember” in the language of the lower Tanana Dene peoples, the Benhti Kanaga’ language.
We Remember ~ learning from our past, to nurture a sustainable future, to move forward.
Thus sparked my introduction to a first-hand experience with Indigenous perspective ~ the first witnessing of stories told from the grounds where these collisions conspire, from the People themselves, and not through the lens of a history spent on oppressing and manipulating their language, their culture, and their relations of stewardship with the earth and wilderness. Indigenous Peoples, comprising less than 5% of the world’s population, are responsible for defending 80% of global biodiversity. (NatGeo)
And although the content presented at this coalition was laden with these recollections and facts, the heroines who comprised the backbone of this summit were joyous and powerful ~ presenting the information and action-infused workshops with organized passion and punctuated our various grassroots-oriented collaborations with articulate keynote speakers ~ the likes of Michael Leon Guerrero on union leadership and internationally renowned activist Winona LaDuke. I felt particular appreciation for the grounding ceremonies and cultural songs that threaded us all together, keeping the nurturing fires of communal spirit alight. Such a binding component is necessary in this effort. How can we fight, and stay strong, if we don’t keep our hearts bright with dance and song?
I was a stoic observer. A deep listener. I kept quiet, absorbing it all; so many new terms and realizations of a complex system written in a political language that was otherwise estranged to me. I had the honor of composing two live sketch pages during the weekend, pulling from the stream of information;
It took time to digest but by the end of the weekend I fully understood what it was that I became beholden to at that summit.
And for as far back as I can remember, I have harbored a deep love for the land, who timelessly sustains and supports us;
it inspires my poetry and my passion and my heart work in every way. Wandering the hills is my salvation. I love them.
and love is what makes us and binds us too, at the core of our connection and revolutions, and to feel love and give love and it is from love that this ferocity burns ~
Let Love Be the foundation of this cause:
it is education and action and engagement that gets the real work done
the balancing factor that keeps our fight and our defense against these injustices thriving and sincere.
and there are so many paths to choose, so many trails, so many avenues, each with a dimension of consequence uniquely strewn ~ which one feels to be right for you? what hums deep in your belly, what reaches through dreams to you?
I am reminded of the dreams I had when I was a young girl and long before I really knew anything significant about the world and these subjects; dreams where I was visited by Native persons, where I was in attendance at what appeared to be great council halls of discussion on the land, and these People in my dream would look directly at me; one elder man in particular turned his head to look right into me, and said, “Heal.”
And I’ll wholly admit, as a white womb’n of privilege, and someone who swung with bipolar depression for most of my life, that it wasn’t until I really dove into the fractured depths spread from systemic racism / environmental abuse that I was able to find a real way out of those manic swings. My behaviors were conditioned by the bullshit I was raised on, the trauma I carried from birth as a result. My initial myths were crafted by the hands who choked out the access to our instinctual, natural belonging in the stories that were fed to us in the institutions that I personally hated and ran so far and fast from ever since I was young.
“I cannot believe what you say, because I see what you do.” (James Baldwin)
If the human-centric view of the world obscures our access to our gut, our own intuitive health / blocks us from the sensation of our shared health with the land, further bewildering our response-ability to face the challenges of reality that have conjured our various degrees of dis-ease within and without us ~
if our unique way of being has been compromised and jeopardized by the harms inflicted by a history built on the backside of genocide and the lies propagated to normalize oppression of Peoples & Environment ~ one & the same ~
how can anyone be expected to put their hands back to the land?
healing our own foundation is a crucial key to see.
if we are not taking care of ourselves, our altar, our body, our beings; each other;
doing this necessary work to bring balance into a manmade catastrophe;
then nothing will change.
you must change.
we must change.
change change the only constant is change.
and it doesn’t happen overnight. It is a ripple cast that spreads and grows. Should you bring children into this world, your actions will shape a reality to which they come to know. And on and on and on it goes.
“Transition is inevitable. Justice is not.” (Winona LaDuke)
This quote was on my mind this morning as I carefully crafted my morning coffee and noticed that everything within reach was either made or brought to me by oil. Our hands are stained in it. As I consumed, I read an article about various uses of petroleum; of its healing properties, for water proofing, and for lamps. Oil, at one interval in our settler history, was met with disdain until its benefits were endorsed through the need of kerosene for lamps and with this spark the demand for oil ignited.
Oil is not an infinite resource and the capitalist corporations who endorse these harmful and unsustainable extractions are often held unaccountable for damages rendered and that includes protections for the laborers who toil for them. I have confronted this within every conversation with an employee enlisted in the oil industry. They’re fucking you over, too.
Boom & Bust has been the crux of their profiteering.
And here in Wyoming, on the Apsaalooke grounds where I reside, the land is riddled with the remnants ghost towns built on these booms & busts. Gebo, for example, is a site that I have personally visited on multiple occasions; est. in 1907 for coal exploitation under the Owl Creek Coal Co.; the town was named after Sam Wilford Gebo, who later fell into financial ruin from fraudulent land claims and committed suicide using his gas kitchen oven. Gebo was once a well-populated town and the mine remained active until 1938 and then bulldozed in 1971 and now it is the site for various sentimental haunts, debris heaping, and slow reclamation. I reflect on this place as a prime example of our history with resource extraction and abandonment and when I went on an internet research hunt for what happened to the people of Gebo I found very little other than evidence of a union letter that was written to intervene against the negligence of the foreign New York enterprise that bought all of the land claims. A common corruption where worker & land protection are not a priority to those who never touch or care for the toils and soils. Assuming the people were abandoned and left to their own devices.
An observation on environmental impact(s) for, example, electric cars / the hazards of having to mine more material like lithium to power these vehicles, with a link chain of references for the immense harm of mining (eco warrior princess)
Which inevitably boils down to the improper and lacking managements of toxicity, waste, and honorable / environmentally conscious disposals of these massive companies.
In April of 2019 I was invited to participate in legislative training by a friend of mine who works with the Inlet Keeper out of the Dena’ina Elnena & Denendeh lands (Homer, Alaska.) She, myself, and another activist member of our community traveled to the territory of the Denendeh & Lingit Aani (Juneau, Alaska) to organize our proposals with three representatives about various concerns and specifically our strong opposition to the highly controversial Pebble Mine.
It was my first tangible dip into the political pool. I have not been an advocate for support of any system whatsoever and government subjects were typically greeted with disdain to my otherwise free-spirited and unaffiliated / non-conformist nature ~ and this detachment was upheld by my privilege too ~ but I had already begun contributions of artwork and public testimony towards environmental protections in Alaska which qualified me to join and, in time, I have come to recognize that engagement at this level is necessary to be heard and make movements. It is one channel of many to access. I am tired of seeing policies dictated in the hands of old, white men, and as this is the monolithic structure set in place, to work to diversify and reinforce our inclusion is just as quintessential to change it from within.
In Juneau, the Capitol building is entirely open and accessible to the public. Our meetings were scheduled with political members but the halls are free to explore. I wholeheartedly admit that I fell in love with Juneau and even the sort of strange, sinking tingling feeling that was lingering in the hills around the town.
The ambition with this series was to demystify / humanize the political sphere and attract younger people to get their hands on the system: through voting, through grassroots, through bold protests / unrest on legislative territory, and through giving attention and time to activist figures who spoke powerful truths at the pedestal of politics. Building relationships with, or defending against these persons; on a local level: with / against the very flawed, hum’n spectrum that exists to represent us ~ including and especially in tandem with conducting our own efforts from home.
What if the best of times are ahead of us?
Despite the heatwaves, power outages, droughts and floods, this is a question the NDN Climate Justice team is not afraid to ask. Today [July 13th 2021] as they launch their campaign, we invite you all to hold this question close as they invoke this prayer for the world we all know is possible.
‘Climate Justice is a vision that reaches us how to move in honest and bold ways, connected with what is occurring everywhere, in all of our homelands and communities, down here on the surface of the Earth, under the forces of unknown weather.
Throughout the entirety of this week the NDN Climate Justice team will be releasing materials to seed the Indigenous Dream in all of our hearts. The directive has never been so clear. We must listen to the land and waters and those who know how to tend them best. (@ndncollective / NDN Collective)